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Eye of the beholder.

Updated: Oct 16, 2022


“Go out and get drunk and come back and make something” were the words of my ceramic tutor Mike Hughes. Those words have always played a merry tune in my mind. He implied everything I make was cute and lovely which at the time it was but as time goes on and lifes gnarly path of enlightenment slaps you in the face, it twisted up the cute into Fugly. Lucky I guess that I find everything beautiful. I strive to see beauty in even the most grotesk, if there is life then there is that beautiful spark that demands a happy celebration in the chambers of the heart, the fucking ugly gives the beautiful its balance and both are in their own rights a delightful expression of life, enriching the experience of living fully. I used to own a Hairy Hairless Chinese Crested Dog called Ewan whom was referred to by many people as looking like a rat but I always felt that comment reflected that persons soul more than it did my dear Ewan, not that rats aren't beautiful. Ewan was more other worldly than rat. I remember the first time I saw a Chinese Crested, it was on a the Paul O'Grady show where he would show case some dogs that needed homes, they would line the dogs up on the stage and in this particular line the dogs were all sat still disinterested in their surroundings chewing on a toy or sat panting not moving but then came the Chinese Crested that was held in a persons arms and its ears where pointing up with utter joy and excitement, eyes popping, shining bright and neck out stretched, to me the dog was so alive and vital it struck my heart so hard I knew my life would be blessed to know such a soul. And it was! He was full of Fugly and it thrilled my heart daily. I have always loved old cottages, they fight against organised and uniformed lines, crooked and twisted and full of discrepancies that strike fear into the hearts of people who like a straight-line. Give me a tiny unpractical house and I will love it, there is a under the stairs cupboard in my cottage and my toddler has named it the ‘Smelly Duck’ due to smell of the old lime plaster and wash thats never been altered since the cottage was built in 1726. The upstairs has floors that go down hill and no furniture sits straight not even the beds. But it is beautiful, chocolate box beautiful and it ignites that love of Fugly in my heart. A true magic that excites and sets a light blazing joy and basically I feel a celebration for life every time I wake up in this tiny crooked old fugly cottage. The elementals of nature the truest Fugly I take joy in and seek out, how can the ancient gnarly old hazel coppices left untamed and the swirling smells of wild garlic be so beautiful, the fallen rotting hazel branches that are full of holes tattooed with fossilised fungi patterns creating beautiful obscure shapes, its unworldly in comparison to the mainstream program of what were taught beauty is. Fugly is the nuts and bolts of life, the fact that nature tells no lies it has no mask and it takes glory in being wildly free.







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